Photograph supplied by and © of Mike Berrell
Whitworth is in the Rossendale Valley,on the open moors in the foothills of the Pennines, about half way between Bacup in the North and Rochdale to the South in the north of the Salford Hundred. Its name is supposed to mean "Bright Flowery Slope".
In the mid 18th century a turnpike road was built from Manchester via Rochdale and Whitworth to Bacup and then on to Burnley, Colne and Skipton. This road was vital to Whitworth's development and quarrying and coalmining along with yarn production became important.
Before 1529 parishioners had to walk to St Chad's in Rochdale to attend church which must have been a bleak walk of over 3 miles in winter over open moors on Whitworth Rake, Manstone Edge and Syke. Then in 1529 locals banded together to erect a chapel. The present St Bartholomew's building was built in 1850.
After a disastrous fire in 1984 which destroyed a lot of the church many thought it would be demolished. But local people cared enough to raise almost half of the £110,000 cost and the church was restored and reopened in June 1987.